Residents at The Edge at Avenue North spent a considerable amount of time outside of the apartment building last month because of two major evacuations which occurred in less than five days.
As a result of the evacuations, several residents’ personal items were damaged, including books, laptops, clothes and electronic items like cameras.
Students were forced out of the Edge on the night of Oct. 26 when a broken sprinkler in a fourth- floor room burst a pipe, seeping water to the lower floors. According to multiple students, the flooding began after someone hung something on the sprinkler in their room.
The second incident occurred three nights later when a resident left a plastic toaster unattended on a hot electric stove on Oct. 29 on the fourth floor of the building. The fire set off the building sprinklers, causing major flooding on the fourth floor. Due to this, the whole building had to be evacuated as it was deemed highly unsafe at the time.
“The events which took place were very unfortunate,” said Michael Scales, director of University Housing and Residential Life. The Edge has official Temple Housing on floors two through five.
“We treat students as individuals and mistakes happen,” he added. “Nevertheless, it is essential to take the positives from here. No one was injured or hurt in spite of this large evacuation.”
Steve Noval, an undeclared sophomore who lives in the Edge, was one of hundreds of students who evacuated the building during the second incident. He said he was preparing to go to sleep when he heard the fire alarms.
“We were stranded out in the cold for more than an hour,” Noval said.
Although Noval was happy to see that students were safe, he said he was concerned about damage that may have occurred to students’ belongings.
“At the end of everything, thank God everyone is fine, but it’s tough to see so many students suffer,” he said. “I hope the university compensates them for all their losses.”
Asked how Temple plans to compensate students whose belongings were damaged, Scales said University Housing is currently working to assess the damages.
“Student with damages should immediately report the loss of their belongings to their respective resident directors or to University Housing,” Scales said.
He also said University Housing is working with the Office of Risk Management to determine which items will be replaced or compensated for.
Mohammed Abouelela, a freshman pre-pharmacy major, was one of the many students whose belongings were damaged. He said he has been extremely disappointed that he has not received any response and cooperativeness from University Housing and the Edge management.
“I lost many of my personal things including books, clothes and even some electronics items,” Abouelela said.
“It’s not the losses that have saddened me,” he added. “It’s the lack of cooperativeness from Temple Housing and the Edge management that’s disappointing. Each is pointing the finger towards the other. I have been aimlessly running around for the last couple of days to address my needs.”
The Edge management could not be reached for comment after repeated phone calls last week.
Kunal Parekh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.